I am a mechanical engineering student in my second year and I am about due for a new laptop.... I think.
I would like to run Matlab, Creo, and solidworks as needed. I do not play video games and I rarely watch movies so neither of those are important to me. I also run programming software for my HAM raido equipment but that software is not very demanding of computing abilities.
I am currently running a HP ProBook 6360b, intel i3-2350M @ 2.3GHz, 4.00GB RAM, 32 bit OS, Intel HD graphics 3000.
This laptop is old but it still works. It was free and if some minor upgrades would keep me going for a few more years for a considerable cost savings I would rather do this. I will need a new dvd drive (mechanical issue, does not read) if I am convinced to run this a few more years.
If I buy new it is going on a credit card. I am not afraid of spending more money for something that will last me several years. With that I would say $2k or less.
i am not a fan of small computers with small keyboards but at the same time I am not looking for a 15lbs jumbo laptop.